In response to a question about Joe Meek pre’s, I said:
I have long had the VC3Q, what is a small 1/2 rack-space channel strip. It was my main vocal pre for many years and I loved the sound of it, especially the opto compressor, altho’ I found it could leave a lot of artifacts on vocal tracks. I now have used it for bass a bit; I intend to keep it.
I like the opto so much I bought both a C2 and a MC2 compressor. They each sound different (the former is Fletcher, the latter Alan Hyatt) and have been useful on stereo keyboard tracks, especially the C2, what is more “colored”.
Based upon those acquisitions (the 2 compressors offa E-bog at under US$100 each), I bought a VC1Q, what is the big old Fletcher unit that’s 2 rack spaces. Now, this baby is the shite. Had I scored it sooner (and it took many tries to get a decent price), I would not have invested in all the pre’s I have (UA710, Altec 1589B, Focusrite ISA1, Summit 2BA-, Presounus Eureka, Focusrite Trakmaster, Rolls-Bellari MP105). As it is, I use all of them but the Trakmaster and 105 (along with my venerable VTB1), but the VC1Q is really the vocal sound I was chasing after in many ways – it’s very colored, capable of very dirty, usabley clean, and has the comp, EQ and a “saturation”-type switch. The iron, however, is not switchable; it’s always in, and I love it.
Lemme expound further: I believe the transformer is the thing that I need from a pre. And even with the ISA1, what I believe has just the input tranny, the sound is so much more 3D, immediately. It’s not that I can’t get a “good” sound out of other stuff, it’s that I always do on the iron pre’s, and sometimes I get a great sound.
Here’s a glimpse of the Meek shite …